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Davis County will make space for state prisoners

Published October 15, 2013 6:19 pm

Inmates • County would add 400 beds for offenders if Draper prison is moved.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Farmington • The Davis County Commission has committed to add up to 400 jail beds to house state inmates if the Utah State Prison in Draper is closed and prisoners are relocated to other facilities.

The beds would be added to the Davis County Correctional Facility in Farmington. The jail and a separate center that houses work release and work detail inmates currently have space for nearly 900 prisoners, according to the county.

A 3-0 commission vote approved a resolution that says Davis County would like to be considered a relocation site for inmates and would provide the facility to house them — if certain conditions are met. Those conditions include a pledge by the state to pay $59 a day for inmates housed in an expansion of the current jail. The agreement would last a minimum of 20 years, the resolution said, for an amount that would increase every three years, based on inflation.

In addition, Davis County would have the beds ready for use within 48 months after signing a firm commitment with the state. The facility would accept inmates in classifications ranging from hardened offenders typically in a cell 23 hours a day to model inmates who can leave the property on a work detail.

Chief Deputy Kevin Fielding of the Davis County Sheriff's Office told commissioners the arrangement would benefitthe county.

"Sheriff's offices are very positive about this across the state," he added.

The state's Prison Relocation and Development Authority (PRADA) is studying the possibility of moving the prison. The Governor's Office for Economic Development estimates commercial development on the 690 acres the facility now occupies could generate up to 40,000 jobs and $20 billion over 25 years.

The Utah Association of Counties has suggested a smaller, new maximum-security prison for the most serious offenders, with other prisoners being housed in county jails. Currently, about 1,600 inmates, approximately 23 percent of the state's total, are in county jails.

Davis County's resolution will be sent to the association, which is gathering commitments from individual counties to present to PRADA.

pmanson@sltrib.com

Twitter: @PamelaMansonSLC